MY TAKE ON THE END GAME…

Ephesians 2,8-9 & Mark.33-36
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Ephesians 2:8-9 — King James
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Mark 14:33-36 — Amplified Bible
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be struck with terror and amazement and deeply troubled and depressed. And he said to them, My soul is exceedingly sad, overwhelmed with grief, so that it almost kills me! Remain here and keep awake and be watching. And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible the fatal hour might pass from him. And he was saying, Abba, which means father, everything is possible for you. Take away this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.

Close to the End

Close to the End

Many are worried about what happens after they die.
Nobody wants to go to hell.
I think that the fear of hell
is what drives the truck,
not for all,
but for most
conservative Christians.
People who think of themselves as theologians,
biblical scholars,
Great Christian Leaders
have promulgated the notion of the
trickstery, sneaky ways
God works which are so
un/in/dis-human
that we indeed all are sinners
on the brink of the eternal fires,
with little recourse,
or hope.
Claiming that “being saved”
is based upon some act—
coming forward,
or holding an unseen entity
in a metaphorical heart.
Scripture tells us things,
actually many things,
that can be taken by the
ignorant,
or cynical,
or wounded,
in ways that are truly detrimental
for the human soul.
We are given formulas,
creeds,
altar calls,
professions of faith to make
that are supposed to move
us from damnation to salvation,
but I think it is all smoke and mirrors at best,
and spiritual make-work at the least.
Not actually helping us,
yet harming us
if we are governed by the fear
of a hardly avoidable hell,
and a disastrous end-game.
First, let me say that I do not
believe
in a fiery and eternal hell.
So, for me,
the above is truly make-work
for the most part
and what is avoided is actually shadows.
I actually believe the writer in Ephesians
who says that salvation cannot be by our own works.
“Not of ourselves,”
and
“it is the gift of God…”
Seems to state it as clearly
as it needs to be stated.
I think that at this juncture,
the faith the writer
or Ephesians
wants us to be saved by
is not what we think it is—
IT CANNOT BE OUR FAITH,
BECAUSE IF IT WAS,
OUR ACT OF COMING UP
WITH THAT FAITH WOULD
THEN BECOME A “WORK,”
AND WOULD NOT,
COULD NOT,
SAVE US!
I believe that the faith that saves us,
if saving is needed,
is the faith Jesus had in
the one he knew as Abba, or Father.
It is that faith-in-the-garden-faith
when he chooses faith
in God over his own fear.
It is Jesus who holds the New Covenant,
and it is Jesus who holds the faith that saves.
That moment in the Garden,
when we find Jesus reaching deep for his
faith-in-the-garden-faith,
that moment,
is the exact moment
we mean when we say we are
“saved by faith.”
It is this faith
to which we can cling
should we feel the need for salvation—
from anything…

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